In game one of a home-and-home series with the Connecticut RoughRiders, the Knights battled well in the first and third periods, but were undone by sloppy middle frame.
The contest opened with the first tally being scored in the first five minutes. At 4:43 on a power play, Mitchell Parsons kicked off a big day with a tip in front that beat Knights goalie Jared Stahel, set up by Mattijs Ossorio’s point shot with a secondary helper from Colin O’Connor.
The Knights responded well to the score, picking up steam after a slow start, accumulating extended time in the offensive zone. They found their equalizer at 6:08 when Rhett Padgett’s shot from the blue line pinballed off of traffic in front to best RoughRiders netminder Jeremey Thelvén. The 1-1 tie would extend through the remainder of the first, with shots favoring the Knights 11-10 heading into the break.
The second period began on the right foot for Connecticut when Mitchell Parsons notched his second score of the game at 1:42, assisted by August Nyblom and Cullen Kane. Nicholas Kukuris came back at 4:21 with another RoughRiders tally, off a helper from Connor Boyce. 18 seconds later, they would strike again as August Nyblom added a goal (O’Connor, Parsons).
Former Knight Alex Rowella added his name to the scoresheet at 7:58 following a nice set up from Kukuris to create a 5-1 lead. Cullen Kane scored shorthanded five and a half minutes later to put Connecticut ahead 6-1 for the rest of the second. Knights goaltender Thomas Walker came on in relief to close out the period.
With the reset button pressed during the intermission, the Knights began the final 20 minutes with renewed energy. Their increase in quality chances built momentum that Jake Fuss turned into a goal through the fiver of Thelvén at the 5:55 mark (Anthony Starzi).
The uptempo attack in the first half of the third led to the RoughRiders drawing a penalty at 6:02. 13 seconds into the man advantage, Brady Hanson took a David Pfoestl pass parallel to the blue line and fired to the net, where a waiting Zach Ouladelhadjahmed re-directed it home for the score.
With the deficit trimmed to three, the Knights tried to bring back the magic that powered them to a four-goal rally in a win last Monday, but were ultimately denied by a stout RoughRiders backcheck the rest of the way. At the final horn, Connecticut skated away with the 6-3 win.
The two teams will rematch tomorrow, October 1st at 2:00 EDT at the Revolution Ice Centre. Admission is free and the game will be broadcast on hockeytv.com. Follow @WBSKnightsEHL and the box score at easternhockeyleague.org for live updates!